Tens of thousands of people have gathered in Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Europe’s worst massacre since World War Two. Eight thousand Muslim men and boys were killed when Bosnian Serb forces overran the UN “safe area” in July 1995. Dignitaries from all over the world attended the ceremony. However, UN chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte boycotted the event in protest at the fact the two main suspects behind the atrocity have still not been arrested. Former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his military commander Ratko Mladic have been charged with genocide by the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague but remain at large 10 years on. World leaders unanimously called on those responsible to be brought to justice but also denounced the failure of the West to react.
UN spokesman Mark Brown said: “We made serious errors of judgement rooted in a philosophy of impartiality and non-violence, which however admirable was unsuited to the conflict in Bosnia. That is why, as I also wrote, the tragedy of Srebrenica will haunt our, the UN history, for ever.” The remains of more than 600 bodies were buried at the ceremony. Each coffin was light, containing only bones painstakingly identified by DNA analysis. Each family buried its own, shifting the earth with shovels, buckets or by hand. Their funerals bring to 2,000 the number of victims whose names have been confirmed. The remains of several thousand more bodies exhumed from the mass graves dug by the Bosnian Serbs are still to be identified.